Black Elk Wilderness

Black Elk Wilderness is in the center of the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve. Named for Black Elk, an Oglala Sioux holy man, the 13,426-acre Wilderness was designated by Congress on December 22, 1980.

Harney Peak, at 7,242 feet above sea level, is the highest point in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. From an historic lookout tower on Harney Peak, one has a panoramic view of four states (South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana) as well as the granite formations and cliffs of the Black Elk Wilderness. Forest Service trails lead to the top from almost any direction. About 17 miles of hiking trails are located in the wilderness; they lead to the top of Harney Peak from almost any direction.

Grizzly Creek Trail 5 miles
Horsethief Lake Trail 3 miles
Iron Creek Trail 5 miles
Iron Mountain Trail 6 miles
Lost Cabin National Recreation Trail 4 miles
Norbeck Trail 10 miles
Sunday Gulch Trail 3 miles Hiking only
Sylvan Lake/Harney Peak/Willow Creek Trail 9 miles
Willow Creek Rushmore Trail 5 miles

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 17 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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